Bariatric Surgery Diet Guidelines
Eating ‘Food For Life’ is really vital and one must follow the recommended dietary guidelines after undergoing the bariatric surgery. These guidelines are carefully designed by your health care providers, along with the goal of limiting the number of carbs and calories you consume. Providing a balanced diet can help prevent the nutrient deficiencies as well as preserve the muscle tissue.
For plenty of people, this new way of eating may seem overwhelming in the beginning, but over time, most of the patients find the guidelines become their daily routine.
- Sip at least one cup of fluid between each small meal, 6 to 8 times a day.
- Always drink extra water as well as calorie-free or low-calorie fluids between meals in order to avoid dehydration. The liquids should absolutely be caffeine-free.
- We recommend drinking at least 2 liters or 8 cups of fluids every day. You will eventually be able to meet this target.
- Never even think about consuming any alcoholic beverages. Post surgery, alcohol is absorbed into your system very quickly than before, thus making its sedative as well as mood-altering effects more difficult to predict and control.
Thicker Liquids – Recommended:
- Nonfat or 1% milk, if you can tolerate milk
- Sugar-free pudding
- Lactose-free or soy-based low-calorie drinks
- Sugar-free, nonfat yogurt
- Blended broth-based soup or other low-fat soups
- Low-fat cottage cheese
- Refined hot cereals that are low in fiber, like cream of rice or cream of wheat, make them in a soup-like consistency. Don’t eat oatmeal.
- Optional low-calorie, high-protein liquid supplement drinks – less than 200 calories – more than 20 grams of protein.
- Eat balanced meals with small portions.
- Keep a daily record of your food portions as well as of your calorie and protein intake.
- Follow a diet low in calories, fats, and sweets.
- Eat slowly and chew small bites of food thoroughly.
- Do not use straws, drink carbonated beverages or chew ice. They can introduce air into your pouch and cause discomfort.
- Try your max to avoid rice, bread, fresh fruits and raw vegetables, as well as meats that are not easily chewed, like pork and steak. But ground meats are usually better tolerated.
- Get rid of sugar, sugar-containing foods as well as beverages, fruit juices and concentrated sweets.
- A couple of months following the surgery, your calorie intake should definitely be between 300 and 600 calories per day, with a focus on thin as well as thicker liquids.
- Your daily caloric intake should not exceed 1,000 calories.
You will have to preserve your muscle tissue by consuming foods that are rich in protein. Your goal ought to be a minimum of 65 to 75 gms of protein per day. Don’t ever worry if you can’t reach this goal in the first few months after your surgery. You will eventually follow it. High-protein foods include
- Soy milk
- Cottage cheese
- Milk products
An Example Diet:
This sample menu includes various foods that are safe for you to eat. You can adjust the menu to fit your tastes as well as tolerance.
- Breakfast – 1/2 cup hot cereal, 1 egg or 1/4 cup egg substitute
- Mid-Morning – half a cup of nonfat milk
- Late Morning – half a cup of chopped melon
- Lunch – Two Saltine crackers, half a cup of low-fat chicken noodle soup
- Mid-Afternoon – 1/4 cup fruit packed in water or juice, 1/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese
- Late Afternoon – half a cup of sugar-free, nonfat yogurt
- Dinner – lean meat or fish, mashed potatoes or well-cooked vegetables
- Bedtime Snack – half a cup of nonfat milk
You should not find any excuse for not taking the following supplements on a daily basis in order to prevent nutrient deficiencies. Remember, all these pills must be crushed or cut into 6 to 8 small pieces. If you were unable to absorb a whole pill before surgery, then it might be difficult for the pills to pass through your new anatomy, post surgery.
Take at least 1,200 to 2,000 mg of calcium every day in order to prevent bone disease and calcium deficiency. In order to enhance the absorption, take calcium in 2 to 3 divided doses throughout the day. For instance, a 500 to 600 mg supplement taken 3 times a day.
Never forget to take a high-potency multivitamin and mineral supplement daily that contains a minimum of 400 mcg of folic acid, 18 mg of iron, selenium, copper as well as zinc. Take two tablets every day as per your health care provider’s suggestion for at least 3 months after your surgery. Post 3 months you can take 1 tablet daily for life.
Vitamin D Supplement
Take an average of 800 to 1,000 International Units (IUs) of vitamin D each and every day. This average amount should be taken in divided doses of 400 to 500 IUs two times a day. Vitamin D should be taken along with your calcium supplement. But, if you prefer, you can also take a combination calcium-vitamin D supplement just to avoid taking multiple pills, as long as it contains the properly prescribed dosages.
Vitamin B12 Supplement
Take at least 500 mcg of vitamin B every day. It can either be taken as a tablet or in sublingual forms placed under your tongue.
Some patients might need additional iron or folic acid supplements, especially women who are still menstruating. You can discuss this with your dietitian to get a clear picture about it.
Over time, you’ll be able to increase the variety as well as the consistency of foods in your diet. Some foods might continue to be poorly tolerated, which includes red meats, bread, chicken, high-fiber fruits, and vegetables. Always focus on low-fat, low-calorie and low-sugar foods and continue to count your calories each and every day. Try to meet your serving goals for all the food groups based on 900 to 1,000 calories diet plan! Meet your health care advisor before you decide to take any supplements and discuss the dosage with them!